When I started this series, I knew that I was going to ask my mama to write a post. I don’t remember so much a single event that stood out to me, instead it’s been a lifetime of examples that have helped my faith in times of testing. I love what she says: “It’s not always the large or grand things that are most important. But, it is having faith, and acting upon that faith, that counts.” My mama’s faithfulness to do this for the 30+ years I’ve watched her is what counts. Because when I get to a place where I want to give up, I remember that. When I want to ask questions about what I should do, I already know the answer. Because I was shown over and over while growing up, that it might not always be easy to have faith in what God’s doing, but it is worth it. That is something I pray that I can pass down to my children. God doesn’t ask us to have big faith, He just asks that we put it into action. I’ve been blessed to see faith in action all my life. I’ve seen both of my parents stand for truth alone, I’ve seen friends turn away for no reason, I’ve seen them hurt because no matter how hard they try to help someone, sometimes people just don’t want help. And still they serve the Lord. This is rare. But then again, my parents are one of a kind. Thank you, Mama, for always being there for me in everything. Thank you for your influence on my life and for sharing your story here. – ‘I have a goodly heritage, I am blessed with things you can’t see. I have a goodly heritage, and that is worth far more to me.’
When I was asked to write something for this blog, I thought to myself, what in the world could I write about? I have never been a good writer, or singer, or teacher. But this story is not about me. It’s about what God has done for me, and that is something to tell about.
I was a shy, awkward child, never had many friends. I was the youngest in my family, and never had a lot of playmates. I was too quiet to go out of my way to initiate friendship, always afraid someone would make fun of me.
I was raised in church, sang and played the piano, and made a profession of faith at a young age. I remember that when I was a teenager, a dear missionary lady told me that she could see me married to a preacher one day. I didn’t see that happening at all! I felt that I would never meet anyone that would want to marry me…. BUT, one day, a church friend introduced me to someone, and I think I fell instantly in love. A little over a year later, we were married…..Through the years, I continued working on a public job, we had three children, and as a family we were active in our church ministry.
But, something was missing – PEACE.
God convicted me of my sins, and one day while on my job, I asked the Lord to save me, and He did! Now there was a difference. All things were made new.
Well, to continue my story, four years after I was saved, the Lord called my husband Jerry to preach. Our first test was in this — Jerry felt led to go on a mission trip to Romania. Talk about scary. I had no idea whether the Lord would call us to the mission field or not. How in the world would this shy, awkward woman do something like that??? No way, not within myself.
Well, God did not call us to a foreign field, but he did call us to serve in the local mission field. For a while we stayed in our home church, working with the youth group, the youth choir and the local nursing home. God blessed us. Then came the day that he called my husband to pastor our first church. It was small, and local, but it needed a pastor. Things went well for a time, until Satan reared his ugly head and caused problems, serious problems. These things caused us to leave the church, and a small piece of my heart shattered.
A little while later, we felt led to another small church. Same story, different script, and we had to leave again. More shattering of our hearts.
In the meantime, our home church was going through some difficulties, and the church where we had met and married, where I was saved, and where we started our family, split apart. Another shatter…
Now, don’t get me wrong, everything was not bad. There were many good things too. I can look back at times when, as a family, we attended camp meetings, summer church camps, revival meetings, homecomings, etc, and where we all received what we needed to make us what we are today. Our children grew up (too quickly for me!), were saved and serving the Lord, they all met godly mates, married and started their own families. I am very grateful. We now have six wonderful grandchildren, three of whom are already saved. We are praying for the three youngest, that God will save them, when the time comes. We are serving in our third church now, and have been with those good people for nearly nine years.
I’ve shared my story to tell you that although I have never done anything that I consider GREAT, I have had a blessed and wonderful life. I have failed God many times, but He always forgives me. He has carried us through dark times – Deaths of loved ones. Serious illnesses in the family. Depression, fear, sorrow, worry, and at times my faith has been so weak, that I have faltered and fell. But God always picks me back up, puts me on my feet and blesses me again.
God has not demanded that I do great things, but to love Him, to walk in His ways, and to be faithful in my service. These things I can do, joyfully. I can determine, each day, to do my best for Him, who gave His best for me. At times I doubt myself, but I can never doubt His love for me.
Love and Faith are the keys to my life and my daily walk with Him.
Matthew 22:36-39 “Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.This is the first and great commandment.And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”
Micah 6:8 “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”
Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
The Lord sometimes referred to faith like a grain of mustard seed. It’s not always the large or grand things that are most important. But, it is having faith, and acting upon that faith, that counts.
My children sang this song with me as they were growing up, and it becomes more real to me, the older I get.
“Day by day and with each passing moment,
Strength I find to meet my trials here;
Trusting in my Father’s wise bestowment,
I’ve no cause for worry or for fear.
He whose heart is kind beyond all measure
Gives unto each day what He deems best–
Lovingly, its part of pain and pleasure,
Mingling toil with peace and rest.
Ev’ry day the Lord Himself is near me
With a special mercy for each hour;
All my cares He fain would bear, and cheer me,
He whose name is Counselor and Pow’r.
The protection of His child and treasure
Is a charge that on Himself He laid;
“As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure,”
This the pledge to me He made.
Help me then in eve’ry tribulation
So to trust Thy promises, O Lord,
That I lose not faith’s sweet consolation
Offered me within Thy holy Word.
Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting,
E’er to take, as from a father’s hand,
One by one, the days, the moments fleeting,
Till I reach the promised land.”
So, I can look back over my life, and say with all assurance that God has been merciful, gracious, faithful, kind, loving and good to me. And I will continue, to the best of my ability, and by the marvelous grace of God, to continue to serve Him the for rest of my life, day by day, step by step, until that blessed day that he calls me home.
Mary is a Pastor’s wife and she and her husband, Jerry, serve the Lord faithfully in their church – Beulah Chapel Missionary Baptist Church. They have been blessed with 3 children and 6 grandchildren and love spending time with them all.